Why do I need to be saved?
God leaves no doubt about our condition. We set our standards of right and wrong by society's values. God’s standard for us is His own holiness. How do we measure up? "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). It’s only fair that God demands holiness; that’s how he first created mankind. We have rebelled against Him as a race and as individuals.
Our pathway away from God has brought its consequences. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23a). The Bible compares sin to a cruel slave master. There is no mercy in suffering, no freedom from bondage, no lasting joy, no hope for the future. But most frightening is the final consequence of sin. The Bible warns that without God’s salvation, death is the doorway to eternal punishment (Hebrews 9:27).
It is from this that we need to be saved. From our own sin. From its bondage. From its consequences. "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" (Hebrews 2:3).
How does God say I can be saved?
God is holy and God is love. His holiness demands that our sin be punished infinitely. His love provides a way for us to be saved from this punishment. How is this possible? Another was willing to suffer what we deserve. Our substitute had to be a sinless man, able to suffer the infinite anger of God against our sin. The only one able to take our place was God’s only Son.
The greatest display of God’s love unfolded as His Son left heaven to become a man. Born of a virgin 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ lived with His creation. Unable to sin Himself, yet He showed compassion to sinners all around Him. However, men hated Him because His holiness revealed their sinfulness. He willingly allowed them to nail Him to a cross of wood outside Jerusalem. They suspended Him so they could sit and watch Him die. The climax of God’s plan of salvation had arrived as God covered the earth with darkness. The Bible tells us that for three hours He laid on His Son the infinite punishment we deserve for our sin. The darkness was broken when Jesus Christ called out with a loud voice "It is finished". He had accomplished the mighty work, God’s great plan of salvation.
After three days in death, Christ Jesus rose from the dead. This is evidence to all that saw him afterwards and to all who read God’s word that Christ’s suffering completely satisfied His father. He was victorious over death itself – the ultimate consequence of our sin.
God’s plan of salvation brings us into the good of Christ’s suffering, death, and victory. "For when we were yet without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6). "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).